MEDFORD, N.Y., May 22, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Chembio Diagnostics, Inc. (Nasdaq:CEMI), a leader in point-of-care ("POC") diagnostic tests for infectious diseases, today announced that it has entered a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with the Massachusetts General Hospital (“MGH”) underscoring the parties' mutual intentions to jointly develop a POC diagnostic test for individuals with fever symptoms. 

Under terms of the MOU, the parties would plan to combine Chembio’s patented DPP® technology with certain markers, which have been developed by researchers at MGH through the use of high-throughput immunoproteomic technologies, to develop POC diagnostic tests for Typhoid and febrile illness. The Chembio DPP® technology has been successfully used to develop sensitive and specific tests for POC infectious diseases which have been commercialized globally, including resource-limited areas.

Edward Ryan, MD, Director of Global Infectious Diseases at the Massachusetts General Hospital commented, "We are quite excited about the targeted collaboration between MGH, Chembio, and our international colleagues. All of us are committed to developing clinically needed and accurate diagnostic assays to correctly distinguish patients who would benefit from potentially lifesaving antimicrobial therapy and those who can be safely managed with supportive care. This work would have huge clinical and public health implications, not only assisting in the clinical care of patients, but also in understanding regional burden of disease. Such data would assist governments and public health teams in targeting appropriate control interventions. That ability would be a significant tool in limiting the use of unnecessary antibiotics, preventing the development of highly drug-resistant organisms."

Javan Esfandiari, Chief Science and Technology Officer of Chembio commented, "We are honored and excited that Chembio's patented DPP® technology is considered for the development of affordable rapid point-of-care assays for febrile illness. We have a successful track record of developing fever tests through such collaborations, with supportive funding from world-leading organizations, and believe these assays will become important tools in the battle against emerging disease worldwide."

Many severe and life-threatening illnesses first manifest as a nonspecific febrile illness – including malaria, typhoid fever, dengue, leptospirosis, Zika, and typhus. Many less serious viral syndromes can also present in this manner. Correctly distinguishing individuals with typhoid fever who require use of an antimicrobial agent, from those with malaria who require an anti-malarial, from those with a viral syndrome that may require in-hospital care or can be managed safely as an outpatient can be quite challenging. Depending on the causative agent, very different therapies would be indicated. Currently, antimicrobial agents are vastly overprescribed, since clinicians cannot often correctly identify the cause of febrile illness. This contributes to development of highly drug-resistant organisms, and can result in adverse events.

John Sperzel, Chief Executive Officer of Chembio commented, "We look forward to working with Dr. Ryan and his colleagues at Massachusetts General Hospital, a world-leading hospital which has remained at the forefront of medicine by fostering a culture of collaboration. According to recent estimates by the World Health Organization, approximately 21 million cases and 222,000 typhoid-related deaths occur annually worldwide. Through this collaboration with MGH, the nation’s largest hospital-based research program, we aim to reduce the incidence of disease globally."

About Massachusetts General Hospital
Massachusetts General Hospital, founded in 1811, is the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The MGH Research Institute conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the nation, with an annual research budget of more than $900 million and major research centers in HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular research, cancer, computational and integrative biology, cutaneous biology, genomic medicine, medical imaging, neurodegenerative disorders, regenerative medicine, reproductive biology, systems biology, photomedicine and transplantation biology. The MGH topped the 2015 Nature Index list of health care organizations publishing in leading scientific journals and earned the prestigious 2015 Foster G. McGaw Prize for Excellence in Community Service. In August 2017 the MGH was once again named to the Honor Roll in the U.S. News & World Report list of "America's Best Hospitals."

About Chembio Diagnostics
Chembio Diagnostics, Inc. develops, manufactures, licenses, and markets rapid diagnostic tests in the growing $8.0 billion POC testing market. Chembio‘s patented DPP® technology platform offers significant advantages over traditional POC lateral-flow technologies and provides the Company with a robust pipeline of business opportunities in the areas of sexually transmitted disease, tropical and fever disease, and technology collaborations.

The Company markets its products directly and through third-party distributors under the brand names: DPP®, STAT-PAK®, SURE CHECK®, and STAT-VIEW®.

Headquartered in Medford, NY, Chembio is licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and is certified for the global market under the International Standards Organization (ISO) directive 13485. Each of Chembio Diagnostic Systems Inc. and Chembio Diagnostics Malaysia Sdn Bhd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chembio Diagnostics, Inc. For more information, please visit: www.chembio.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
Statements contained herein that are not historical facts may be forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding the intent, belief or current expectations of the Company and its management. Such statements, which are estimates only, reflect management's current views, are based on certain assumptions, and involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results, events, or performance may differ materially from the above forward-looking statements due to a number of important factors, and will be dependent upon a variety of factors, including, but not limited to Chembio's ability to obtain additional financing and to obtain regulatory approvals in a timely manner, as well as the demand for Chembio's products. Chembio undertakes no obligation to publicly update these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that occur after the date hereof or to reflect any change in Chembio's expectations with regard to these forward-looking statements or the occurrence of unanticipated events. Factors that may impact Chembio's success are more fully disclosed in Chembio's most recent public filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Investor Relations Contact
Lynn Pieper Lewis
Gilmartin Group
(415) 937-5402
investor@chembio.com